CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE (11:36 a.m. Friday): Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Media Relations Specialist Gary Rasp confirmed to KRIS 6 News that several chemicals and compounds were released Thursday, including chlorine, ethylene dichloride (EDC), and ethylene.
"TCEQ field monitoring did not detect any odors, nor were any air contaminants of concern noted, indicating that the plume dissipated," he stated in an e-mail. "We confirmed the release stopped yesterday at approximately 2:45 p.m."
Around 1:30 p.m., there was a fire at the Oxychem Chemical Plant that caused a plume that was visible from outside the plant.
According to Sara Williams, the San Patricio County Emergency Management Coordinator, the fire led to a small explosion, and Oxychem was able to contain the fire on-site with their on-site response team.
Oxychem had their staff and staff of the plant next door, Chemours Ingleside Plant, shelter in place, as is standard protocol since the plants are so close to eachother.
Oxychem is now doing air monitoring to ensure there was not residual chemicals that could harm anybody.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is aware of the explosion and leak, and released this statement to KRIS 6 News:
TCEQ’s Region office in Corpus Christi is aware of this matter and is enroute with air monitoring equipment.
We will conduct an investigation to determine whether any violations have occurred, but for now our focus is on assisting local officials in any immediate response needs they may have.
Shane K. Boyd with OxyChem provided this statement:
This afternoon, the OxyChem Ingleside facility experienced a release at the plant. There were no injuries, the issue was isolated and resolved by employees, and an all-clear has been issued. For OxyChem, protecting the safety, security and health of our workers and neighboring communities is our first priority.
According to Sheriff Oscar Rivera, a fire and chemical release is being contained at the OXY chemical plant in Ingleside.
Rivera says it was part of one of their processing units and they believe the chemical release was chlorine.
Oxy and Chemours personnel are sheltering in place.
No vapor or product is believed to have left their site.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.